Priest spared death through love of Mary
Jun 10th, 2021 • 3 min
55.—When St. Francis Borgia was in Rome, an ecclesiastic came to speak with him; but the saint being much occupied, sent Father Acosta to him. The ecclesiastic said to him: “Father, I am a priest and a preacher, but I live in sin, and distrust the divine mercy.
“After preaching a sermon one day against the obstinate, who afterwards despair of pardon, a person came to me to make his confession, who narrated to me all my sins, and at length told me that he despaired of the divine mercy. In order to do my duty, I told him that he must change his life, and trust in God.
“Then that penitent rose to his feet and reproached me, saying: And you, who preach thus to others, why do you not amend, and why do you distrust? Know, said he, that I am an angel come to your aid; amend and you will be pardoned. And when he had said this he disappeared. I abstained for several days from my sinful practices, but when temptation came I again returned to my sins.
“On another day, as I was celebrating Mass, Jesus Christ sensibly spoke to me from the host, and said: Why dost thou thus maltreat me, when I treat thee so well? After this I resolved to amend, but at the next temptation fell again into sin.
“A few hours ago, a youth came to me in my apartment, and drew from under his mantle a chalice, and from this a consecrated host, saying: Do you know this Lord whom I hold in ray hand? Do you remember how many favors he has done you? Now behold the punishment of your ingratitude, and saying this he drew a sword to kill me.
“I then cried: For the love of Mary do not kill me, for I will indeed amend. And then he said: This was the only thing that could save you: make a good use of this grace, for this is the last mercy for you. When he had said this he left me, and I came immediately here, praying you to receive me among you.”
Father Acosta consoled him, and the priest, by the advice also of St. Francis, entered another order of strict observance, where he persevered in holiness till his death. *
* Andr. nel suo Itin. Grad. 7, ap. Bov. to. 4, Esemp. 5.
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